In a previous post, I wrote about the benefits of using tarot as a writing tool. I gave step, by step instructions, but I thought I would provide an actual writing prompt so you could see the various ways your 2-card reading can be interpreted.
Please note, the I rely heavily on Benebell Wen’s amazing book, Holistic Tarot. All the page references in this post go back to this book. It is the most in-depth book on tarot I have come across in my 15 years of reading. But you can read all about that in my Media Review. The reason I fall so heavily on this rather than my own knowledge is because
- The wording of the aspects I point to in the book are so well worded that I don’t think I can do it justice
- I want to give as much detail as I can to provide as many nuggets of inspiration for you, dear reader and writer, and I worry that I’ll gloss over too much.
When asking what to write about, I performed the First Operation, assigning the Ace of Wands as the signifier. I found it in the A placement (refer to How-to post for reference) of family, relationships, and marriage.
‘The internal sphere: Seeker is asking about emotions, feelings, personal relationships, or desires. This pile pertains to the domestic sphere and interpersonal matters. When love or romance is the matter at hand, or the matter the Seeker should focus on at present, the signifier will appear here…The people or characters involved with affect the outcome. Take care in nurturing relationships. Per the fourth psychic functions, the resolution of the problem will be reached through Feeling.’ Pp. 247, 248
Cards Drawn and Spread
I put all the piles together again, reshuffled and divided the cards into four piles again as if performing the First Operation. Instead of looking for a signifier card, I fanned out the H1 pile and drew from there to create a Card 1 (Response) and Card 2 (Obstacle) spread.
Card 1: 2 of Wands
The two of wands is a card of transition from one place to the next. It is the nurturing of an idea into fruition. The plans have begun to be put into action, the seed is breaking open and the leaf of the plant start is beginning to unfurl in the sunlight. ‘The Two of Wands is associated with artistic or scientific success or professional success….The card could also indicate a worldly aristocratic, educated individual with great creative ability for the advancement of arts and science’ p.130.
Card 2: XVI The Tower
The Tower is built of ego. It is the result of much work and deliberation, but it was built on a faulty foundation, and thus it was built of the ego, which is fragile. There is strength in the tower, but when it falls, there is complete disruption. This disruption makes way for growth, makes away for new endeavors and for new beginnings on stronger foundation. The Tower ‘expresses downfall as a result of one’s selfish, egotistical ambition…The Tower could also indicate that there will be a sudden game-changer, one that will feel out of the Seeker’s control; it may make him or her feel helpless…The Tower card can denote important spiritual revelations sprung from Fire…there must be heartfelt reevaluation for the Divine realization to come.
Numbers: 2 (2 of Wands), 7 (16à1+6) (The Tower)
2, High Priestess (Water)
Twos: Balance. Relationships. Cooperation. Duality. Choice. Yin and yang. Existence. Experience. A repeating pattern of twos in a reading could indicate an overriding need for love and harmony. Thus, the Seeker’s objective is to find balance. P. 433
The High Priestess is a call to look inward, to develop intuition and to listen to the subconscious. She is shrouded in shadow and mystery, only to encourage shining a light on what isn’t readily seen.
7, Chariot, Water
Sevens: Developmental stage. Wisdom. Spirituality. Great importance. A power number of sages. A repeating pattern of sevens in a reading suggests a theme of spirituality, of acquiring wisdom and knowledge. Thus, the Seeker’s objective is understanding. P. 434
The Chariot is the bringer of knew information, the return and the venture toward higher understanding. The driver has been to the unknown and come back with vital information. Also, the Chariot represents travel and movement.
Further numbers: 9 (2+7), The Hermit, Earth
Nines: Change will be for the better. Idealism. Optimism. Positive change is coming. Longevity. A repeating pattern of nines in a reading reveals an idealistic Seeker, someone who truly wants to contribute to humanity. The Seeker’s objective is to make a difference, to have an impact.
The Hermit is navigating an unknown landscape, or rather, a dark one, indicating the subconscious realms. The ground is uneven, and thus he must tread carefully in order to ensure his footing. Only the light of the six-pointed star in the lantern guides his way. This is the light of divinity and faith. The Hermit is a card of navigating the inner self in order to find a true path.
Element dominant: Fire, Earth
|‘Spirit is what enable human beings to be conscious. It is the vitality that animates us.’ p. 446|
|Characteristics of Fire||When Fire is Dominant|
|‘The Physical body is the body we can see, hear, taste, smell and touch.’ p. 446|
|Characteristics of Fire||When Fire is Dominant|
Fire and Earth together Neutralize. This gives us a setting, or more detail to the theme, Community and/or Government. There are elements of transformation and control when these two are together.
Weak element: Water
|‘Soul is where karma is accounted for, where the good and evil of a person are accumulated’ p. 446|
|Characteristics of Water||When Water is Weak|
Considering that the element of the reading based on the position of the Ace of Wands in the First Operation is Water, I think is safe to compare Water to Fire and to Earth in this, to help the story gain depth.
Fire + Water = Weakened
Earth + Water = Strengthened
This gives us the additional details that the story might involve perception and senses, search for resources, a need or retaliation against conservativisim, a need or disruption of stability, and a need for or coming up against defense.
The Writing Prompt
Theme – Love, relationships, family life
Character – Scientist or artist type individual feeling stuck in a situation they need to get out of them
Problem – Character built their tower (life, career, foundation, beliefs, etc) on huburous, and now it’s come to a stop.
Questions to ask
- How does this tie into their relationships?
- What about their character is going to help their relationships
- Is deconstruction of everything they know related to the professional world or the world of relationships?
- Use the messages of the Empress and the Hermit to guide your story
- Consider the strengths and weaknesses of the elements and how they might influence your character, the problem, or the scene you’re setting.